As Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, I am delighted to welcome the publication of the Townscape book, documenting Mary Burke’s residency at the Laois Arthouse, Stradbally. This catalogue captures the time Mary worked in Stradbally, visiting a selection of homes, taking photos, returning to her studio and creating the paintings. There are the interviews undertaken with the homeowners on what it means to live in Stradbally and the framing essay. It is a meaningful record of Mary Burke’s time at Stadbally and it will have a life beyond the project which is why documentation is important. The Laois Arthouse is a beacon to artists and has hosted exciting programmes and events since its opening in 2011. It is a welcome workspace for artists, local, national and international. I wish the exhibition tour every success and look forward to seeing it in the various galleries over the course of the tour. We are grateful to all who have contributed to the making of Townscape. I wish the Arts Office continued success in developing the Laois Arthouse for many years to come. Pádraig Fleming, Chairman, Laois County Council FOREWORD CATHAOIRLEACH OF LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL Cathaoirleach Pádraig Fleming